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McDonald’s Has 18 Months to Rebrand…or Else

mcdonalds

A report from Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek tells us that McDonald’s is “setting aside the next 18 months as a period not only to develop the normal lineup of new menu items but also to rebrand itself”. The goal is to change its image from cheap, fast food to something approaching fine(r) dining.

On its last earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said the goal of this soul searching is for the Golden Arches to become “a more trusted and respected brand.”

The implications for current partners DDB and Leo Burnett are less clear.

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What Brands Want from Their Agencies (and Who’s Doing It Best)

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Specialist consultants (advertising, digital, PR, branding, social media) are gaining ground on full-service agencies as brands’ first resources for business advice, according to new research carried out by Marketing Week in association with Weber Shandwick:

“The value of employing a full-service agency is questioned by more than 40 per cent of marketers, who prefer to have specialists managing individual marketing channels. However, almost as many say they would consider working with a full-service shop if it saved them money on fees.

In-house focus also seems to be a developing trend for certain marketing disciplines, as more than a quarter of marketers have taken agency work in-house in the past two years and reduced the number of external partners.”

It should be noted that while “the concept of having a lead agency is gradually becoming outdated,” there remains “plenty of opportunity for agencies to perform influential roles for clients in areas where they have proven expertise.”

So who is doing it best? Read more

Anomaly Has a Moment with Dick’s Sporting Goods


Everyone loves sports ads celebrating unknown heroes, and Anomaly’s latest effort for Dick’s Sporting Goods is a suspense-filled nod to every young athlete’s moment of truth–be it courtside, trackside, or curbside.

Entitled “The Moment”, the :60 spot has all the fast cuts and chest pounding moments we’ve come to expect from the PA-based retailer (along with the requisite over-the-top orchestration). With back-to-school days on the horizon, it’s sure to strike a chord with soccer/football/basketball moms and dads in need of some fresh gear for that future superstar.

Click through for the credits…

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We Hear: IPG Wins Chrysler Social Media Account; Activists Invest in Interpublic

IPG_MEDIABRANDS_Black_LargeWhile we can’t confirm this report, we hear from several sources that Chrysler–which signed Ignite to handle its social media in 2011 after experiencing an unfortunate misstep involving the f-bomb that led the company to dump its agency–has awarded that account to Interpublic’s IPG Media Brands.

Chrysler did not announce an official review; updates as they arrive.

Another piece of Interpublic news is definitely accurate: this morning, the New York hedge fund Elliott Management confirmed, via SEC filing, that it had acquired a 6.7 percent interest in the larger holding group. This news follows earlier speculation that Elliott aimed to play the role of “activist investor” by scooping up a stake in the group (which includes McCann, Weber Shandwick and FCB among “almost 100 different firms”).

What does the shift mean for the agencies under the Interpublic umbrella? From The Wall Street Journal:

“Elliott’s confirmation of its interest will put pressure on Interpublic Chief Executive Michael Roth…One reason an activist may want to shake up Interpublic is that the company has failed to meet its margin targets over the last two years…Results have been hampered by the poor performance of some of its largest agencies, such as McCann Worldgroup, the biggest unit by revenue…Still, over the past year, McCann has begun to rebound under new leadership, winning new business from companies such as GM and Microsoft.”

Something of a mixed message.

Staffing Changes at R/GA New York

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When we last heard from R/GA New York, the agency announced the hiring of ECD Mike Rigby, formerly with Interbrand Australia, to help advise clients on brand strategy.

Today brings word of more changes at the New York office (which will soon begin its transition from an agency headquarters to a fancy hotel): an unknown number of staffers are now unemployed. Here’s the agency’s official statement:

“As with any agency of our size, there are always staff changes occurring. However, we are not currently nor do we plan on executing any large scale layoffs at R/GA.”

Tipsters claim that the shift involves several “executives and senior folks” and that the group in question may include CTO/EVP John Mayo-Smith and Nick Katsivelos, managing director of technology and strategy.

We can provide one important detail: the pink slip party will go down at The Frying Pan on West 26th Street and the Hudson River at 6 PM tonight.

eBay Hires WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby for Support

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In April, eBay began looking to revamp its brand and image. The online clearinghouse put out a review not for an agency of record but for shops to work on a global brand project (which speaks to last week’s conversation on the state of the AOR).

eBay found two agencies to fit the bill: WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. The two will act in much-needed supportive roles to handle media and creative.

Surprisingly, the agencies released no celebratory comment. We do have this from eBay to AdAge:

“As our brand evolves, we’re constantly looking for new ways to inspire and engage our buyers and sellers around the world. We have recently engaged Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Mediacom as one of our agency partners to help us explore how to continue telling the story of eBay.”

The company spent $51 million on U.S. measured media last year; this total includes spending for subsidiaries PayPal and StubHub.

Periscope, Great Clips Let Their Hair Down for Teachers

Contrary to popular belief, America’s public school teachers may have it even rougher than ad creatives. In fact, 3/4 of them spend their own money on classroom supplies for their students.

This campaign, created by Minneapolis indie agency Periscope for “world’s largest salon brand” Great Clips and AdoptAClassroom.org, aims to inspire a little charity on behalf of those who made our readers the award-winning copywriters and art directors they are today.

The clip is more than five minutes long, and it doesn’t include much in the way of quippy taglines, but there’s a nice twist at the end–and it’s nice to see someone expressing genuine emotion in what is, effectively, an ad campaign.

The idea: every time someone downloads the Great Clips app, the company will make a donation to the nonprofit.

This is cause marketing. Credits after the jump.

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Thursday Morning Stir

-ESPN Films’ latest entry in the 30 for 30 Shorts series, “The High Five,” debuted on Grantland yesterday (trailer above). link

-Rent-A-Center opted to retain Mindshare Chicago as its media AOR following a competitive review. link

-Advertising technology company Tremor Video announced the hiring of Jay Baum as vice president, agency business development. link

-Brand consultancy Interbrand announced the appointment of Josh Feldmeth as CEO of Interbrand, North America. link

-Zulu Alpha Kilo promotes the Collingwood Elvis Festival. link

-NowThis News moves toward 15-second videos, rebrands as NowThis. link

-Nike launches “Chase Summer” campaign targeting women. link

-Why your social media strategy sucks. link

-Mobile ads fuel soaring Facebook profits. link

Mystery Box and The Harmon Brothers Get Violent, Messy for VidAngel

Creating an ad for a client whose main product aims to “protect” audiences from “the bosoms, blood and bad words” on YouTube and in movies is quite a challenge, but The Harmon Brothers (the guys behind the Poopouri spots) certainly got the job done with some help from production company Mystery Box and David Ackerman of Ackermania in this spot for VidAngel (a company co-founded by executive producer Jeffrey Harmon):

We’re not sure how the Fearful Parent target audience will take the campaign, and since we don’t have kids yet (thank God) we can’t say whether it would lead us to consider paying for the service. But it does serve as a nice showcase for Ackermania’s unfettered approach to advertising.

For once, the behind-the-scenes clip is worth watching as well after the jump.

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Wednesday Odds and Ends

-This promo for FXX’s marathon of The Simpsons imagines apocalyptic ramifications for the event (video above). link

-Deep Focus promoted Ken Kraemer to chief creative officer and Matt Steinwald to group creative director. link

-Chicago-based hybrid advertising and entertainment shop Super Genius produced a new TV show called “Garage Squad,” which premieres August 1st on The Velocity Channel.

-Foursquare unveils new logo. link

-McDonald’s focuses on digital initiatives with an “aggressive sense of urgency.” link

-Survey shows CMO compensation tied to C-suite alliances. link

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